Madison Park residents fight proposed giant tennis bubble

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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SEATTLE —

Some residents in Madison Park are furious about a giant inflatable bubble that the Seattle Tennis Club wants to install.

Marijcke Clapp has lived in her home overlooking Lake Washington for 48 years.

But now she says an eyesore could soon be moving into view.

"We have to protect our neighborhood," she said.

The Seattle Tennis Club wants to install a tennis bubble over two courts.

Some call the design 'confusing.'

"You drive by that, what do you think it is?" Theresa Olson, who jogs by the club frequently, asked. "It's a, you know, a science experiment. Cirque du Soleil. You don't know what it is. And I just think it wouldn't fit with the neighborhood."

Clapp believes it will be loud.

"They need generators to blow the air in, then they will want to warm it and so that is going to generate noise," she said.

When the club first applied for a tennis bubble earlier this year, the city's Department of Planning and Development denied those plans, saying it would violate zoning.

But the club appealed that and is now waiting for a decision from the Seattle Office of the Hearing Examiner.

The club told the city that the bubble would keep the rain off tennis players from about October to April and allow for consistent scheduling for matches.

Members at the prestigious club didn't want to comment on camera, though they told KIRO 7 off-camera they support a bubble.

KIRO 7 tried to reach the club's general manager, Silja Griffin, but was told she was on vacation for the holidays.

Clapp worries that the club would eventually want more of them so more players could play in the winter, or that the club would move to build an additional permanent indoor facility. The Seattle Tennis Club currently has six indoor courts.

"We are trying to prevent it before it gets to be a bigger problem," she said.

If the club wins its appeal, Clapp said she's ready to move the fight from the tennis courts to a court of law.